Upgrade of Kryoneri Observatory to serve the development objectives of the Peloponnese Region
Our country has universities and research centers of international level with highly specialized scientific staff, which are constantly producing new knowledge. However, scientific activity is significantly limited within academic institutions and this causes a lag in the return of knowledge to society. It should be noted that in Greece there are very few science museums and training centers, which do not cover the country geographically, nor are they sufficient to cover the existing topics.
With this project, we intend to reverse this situation through the upgrade of the Kryoneri Observatory in order to develop scientific tourism in the Peloponnese region. One of the main goals of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is the education of the public and the public understanding of natural sciences, environmental sciences and technology. Astronomy is the spearhead for the wider approach of the public and science because it easily attracts the public, both because of the spectacular images of celestial objects that are discovered and observed daily by ground-based and space telescopes (comets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies). etc.), as well as the topics of research (eg cosmology, exoplanets, etc.) and which relate to the deeper existential questions of man.
In particular, Kryoneri Observatory is carrying out an important project, concerning the observation of Near-Earth objects during their impact on the surface of the Moon. Knowledge of these elements is particularly important for the protection and shielding of our planet from possible impacts of such objects. This scientific program (under the name NELIOTA) is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). In addition to the main subject of astronomy, the proposed center will include other related fields. The interdisciplinary approach of modern science connects the Earth sciences with those of space, thus giving a holistic picture of scientific knowledge and sensitizing the public to various scientific issues concerning both the immediate and the wider earth environment: soil – subsoil (monitoring seismic activity), flora – fauna, ecology, atmosphere, meteorological conditions, gaseous pollutants, sky, space, universe. Related technological fields such as optics, scientific instrument technology and telecommunications will also be presented.
With the upgrade of the Observatory, the return of knowledge from the research centers to society will be achieved. This will contribute to the upgrading the educational and cultural level and at the same time to the further sensitization of the public to the environment. Science and technology are driving forces for educational, social and economic development. This is achieved through the promotion of infrastructures that are of scientific and educational interest and their integration in the local and wider community, as well as in the activities of the region. The integration of the proposed center in the tourism planning of the region and the country will be another step of decentralization and will give a significant impetus to the development of the region by attracting cultural, educational and scientific tourism.